If you sweat in stressful situations or while working out, then it means your sweat glands are in tip-top condition. The only downside is that sweat can be smelly, and if you tried to mask it with deodorant, you may end up with a new problem: the chemicals combine with sweat to give the underarm of your garment a pesky yellow tint.
If you’ve got sweat stains and odors, then you already know that these two problems can be hard to eliminate. So how do you get sweat smells and stains out of your clothes for good? In this article, you will discover 20 reliable ways to do just that.
20 Ways to Get Sweat of Clothes
If you can’t get the sweat out of your cloth in one try, it may become permanently stained. Because everyone sweats, knowing how to remove sweat stains and stink from your shirts is an essential skill. Here’s are 20 ways to do so:
1 . First Things First, Wash Clothing Immediately
If you love your clothes, then anytime you perspire, take them to the laundry as soon as you take the cloth off your body. Allowing sweat to dry on garments is the root cause of getting hard-to-remove sweat stains and odors.
On certain textiles, such as wool or silk, sweat stain removal treatments can potentially cause more harm than good. In essence, if the garment’s label specifies that it should only be dry cleaned, don’t try to wash it. Follow all the instructions on its care tag while you’re at it.
2. Soak In Hot Soapy Water
Again, we want you to check the garment’s care tag before proceeding with this step. With that said, soak the clothing in the hottest temperature of soapy water that the fabric can tolerate. Make sure the detergent is a heavy-duty stain buster like Tide laundry detergent.
Let the clothing soak for about 10 minutes, thereafter load it in the washing machine or, preferably, by hand. For gym towels, you may want to be gentler and use temperatures no greater than 35 degrees because the towel may lose its fluffiness otherwise.
3. Inspect Your Washing Machine
It might not look like the obvious culprit, but if your clothes come out from the washing machine smelling of sweat, then your problem may be a less-than-pristine washing machine. Accumulated dirt can cause mold to grow, which can trap unpleasant smells that transfer to your laundry. So might want to wash your washing machine from time to time. Find out ways to get mold smell out of clothes.
To clean your washing machine, always read your owner’s manual for cleaning instructions. If the smell is that bad, try using Oxiclean Machine Cleaner with Odor Blasters
4. Soak Clothing In Dilute Vinegar
Vinegar is another terrific solution for eliminating sweat stains and stinks that are relatively fresh. Mix 2 -3 teaspoons of vinegar in 1 gallon of water. Dunk the sweaty clothing in the solution and let it sit for 30 minutes. Afterward, wash the garment as normal.
Alternatively, you can add vinegar directly to the load in the washing machine and then let it soak for 30 minutes. Thereafter, wash the garment using the usual cycle.
5. Aspirin and Cream of Tartar Combo
Aspirin, an over-the-counter pain reliever, combined with Cream of Tartar can give you the breakthrough with sweat stains you so desire. Because aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, which readily breaks down sweat molecules, it is a great way to take out sweat stains and smells.
Crush 3 uncoated aspirin tablets and mix them with a tiny amount of water and a tablespoon of cream of tartar until a consistent mixture forms. Rub the paste into the area with the sweat problem, then work it using an old toothbrush. Allow 20 minutes for it to sit before laundering. This method works, however, you may need to repeat it if you still see a trace of sweat color or smell it faintly.
6. Try Baking Soda Paste
Asides from its use in pastries, baking soda is such a versatile cleaner because it is a mild alkali that can effectively dissolve grease and dirt; and we’re going to use this property to fight off sweat stains and stink.
It’s straightforward: mix a small amount of baking powder with an appropriate amount of water to form a paste, then douse the problem areas with the baking powder paste. Leave the garment to sit for 15 minutes, but we advise letting it stay overnight.
Afterward, wash off and launder the garment normally. Some people have found mixing Dawn dishwashing soap and baking soda to be even better for taking out sweat smells and stains; you might want to try that too.
7. Treat With Table Salt
If the only thing you can get your hands on is table salt, try this: dissolve ½ cup of salt in a small bucket, then soak the said garment for about 1 hour before laundering.
8. Sprinkle With Washing Soda
Washing soda (also sodium bicarbonate or soda ash) is an ingredient in many cleaning agents. It comes in powdered form. Moisten the affected areas, sprinkle washing soda on them and leave to sit for 30 minutes. Afterward, wash your cloth normally.
Warning: Washing soda is caustic, so you MUST wear rubber gloves while you’re at it.
9. Douse With Mouthwash
It may come as no surprise that mouthwash is also helpful for removing sweat smells and their associated stains from your clothes. It works.
Simply pour a few capfuls on the problem areas, especially the underarm area. Wait 30 minutes before laundering the garment.
10. Remedy With Meat Tenderizer
Meat tenderizers can work on the sweat stains and ‘digest’ the sweat proteins and stink-causing bacteria from the problem area on your garment. If you’ve got a meat tenderizer in your pantry, moisten the underarm and other sweaty areas of the garment and let it sit for 30 minutes. Launder normally afterward.
11. Use a Fragrant Detergent
Fragrant laundry detergents can be a great help when it comes to getting rid of stubborn sweat smells, leaving your garments smelling sweet after a wash. However, spread your clothes out on a clothesline to dry (if you can). This is to enable the sun’s rays to help to kill any stink-causing bacteria that may have survived. The wind will also help to blow any residual sweat smell away.
12. Try a Fabric Softener
Fabric softeners help to reduce harshness in clothes. They also have one thing in common: they have nice fragrances. If you have a fabric softener handy, use one of the methods for removing sweat stains and odor in this article, then pour in an appropriate amount of fabric softener to the load during the rinse cycle. That’s it.
13. Treat With Vodka
If you have a bottle of vodka at home, that drink has a trick under its sleeve you might not know about: busting sweat smells. But first, mix the three parts of water with one part of vodka before you proceed. Next, douse the problem area on your garment with the dilute Vodka. Allow 30 minutes for it to act before tossing the garment into a washing machine.
14. Borax And an Essential Oil
Borax is an essential ingredient in many cleaning products. You can also mix it with essential oil to help fight stubborn sweat stains and smells. Simply mix Borax with an essential oil and water until the final product is consistent. Smear the sweat areas and let them sit for 30 minutes to allow the mixture to act on them. Thereafter, launder the clothing using the usual washing cycle.
15. Spritz With Ammonia
Ammonia is a mild bleaching agent, so you might have some luck with using it to remove sweat stains and smells. Drop 1 teaspoon of ammonia in a cup of water, then apply the diluted ammonia to the problem areas of your garment. Allow a few before laundering the said garment.
16. Wash With an Enzymatic Laundry Detergent
An effective way to deal with stains and stinks of biological origin is by using an enzymatic detergent. Enzymatic laundry detergents like Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost contain enzymes that help to break down the proteins in sweat; their effective chemical formulation also simultaneously kills the smell and stain-causing bacteria.
We recommend that you pretreat the trouble spot by applying an enzymatic laundry detergent to the stained spot and let it for 15 minutes. After pretreatment, toss the garment in a washing machine and wash using the enzyme detergent. Your cloth should come out looking and smell fresh.
17. Use Murphy’s® Oil Soap
Murphy’s oil soap is originally meant to clean laminate and wood surfaces, however, it makes an excellent sweat stain remover. Apply Murphy’s oil soap to the sweat-stained area using an old toothbrush and work it into the fabric using the same. Let the garment sit for 20 minutes, then rinse the area before laundering.
18. Soak With a Bleach (For Whites)
If you have white clothes with sweaty stains, dilute an appropriate amount of a decent bleach in water and soak the affected garment to kill the bacteria and restore the cloth’s whiteness.
If you don’t want to use chemicals, lemon juice can be used instead.
19. Treat With Lemon Juice
If you don’t have vinegar, another viable option is lemon juice. The citric acid on lemon juice attack and help to get everyday odors out of garments. Drop a few drops of lemon juice on the site of the sweat stain and let it sit for 30 minutes. The citric acid in the lemon will help to eat up odor-causing bacteria. Rinse the area and wash the garment with a strong laundry detergent.
20. Use an Armpit Stain Remover
We saved the best for last: armpit stain removers. These products have unique formulations that can remove even the toughest sweat stains in the underarms of any garment. If you want one, go for Carbona Stain devil for rust and perspiration. Simply follow the application instructions on the product label and you’re well on your way to freedom from annoying armpit smells and stains.
With these kinds of products, however, do a spot test in a hidden part of the garment first. After confirming that the product is safe to use, you can proceed to use it.
How Do You Get Old Sweat Smell Out Of Clothes?
For a quick DIY process using simple household items, treat the said garments using baking soda, vinegar, or lemon juice as described above. It might help to soak the garment in hot water which the garment can tolerate using any of the above items. Afterward, wash them normally in a washing machine.
If you feel like need a permanent solution to stubborn sweat stains and smells for your garments now and for future purposes, then you might want to get your hands on an armpit stain remover.
Above all else, we recommend using an underarm sweat shield to prevent sweat stains and smells in the first place.
Tips For preventing sweat stains and Smell on clothes
Preventing sweat stains and the odor associated with them is always preferable to trying to eliminate them. You probably already know a few ways to prevent sweat smells and stains like using an antiperspirant. Just in case, here are a few tips to keep your clothes free from sweat stains and smells:
- Washing the said garment immediately after perspiring will go long way in keeping it fresh and stain-free. By extension, having a bath immediately after a workout, or at least once a day is a brilliant idea.
- Use breathable textiles that are less likely to smell sweaty for day-to-day activities, such as cotton, linen, and so on.
- Use antiperspirants. Although this comes with the unique problem of causing sweat stains on your garment’s underarm when aluminum (from antiperspirant) combines with sweat. You can remedy this by using an underarm sweat shield, like The Thompson Tee Hydro-Shield Underarm Sweat shield. It prevents embarrassing sweat stains (and smells) from forming under your armpits.
- Do not wear your clothes for more than one day and wash them more often.
Some garments are labeled ‘dry clean only’, so you should send them to a professional dry cleaner or learn how to dry clean at home.